I wasn’t planning to write a blog post today, but something on twitter set me thinking.
The tweet was “It’s raining outside………” I don’t need to continue on with the tweet because the rest of it isn’t important to this post.
My first instinct was to tweet back something smart like— “Where else would it rain?” or “Good thing it’s not raining inside”— but I wasn’t sure if my humour would be well received since I don’t know this particular tweeter very well. (See previous post!) Not everyone appreciates my sense of humour as difficult as that is for me to believe.
But this got me thinking about those times, in our writing, when we state the obvious as this particular tweeter did. I sometimes catch myself doing this even in my own writing. Stating that someone picked an object up in their hands for instance, such as “He picked the Frisbee up in his hands,” should be pretty darn obvious unless the He in question is a dog named Benny who likes to play Frisbee. Then by all means “He picked the Frisbee up in his mouth” would sound appropriate (unless Benny’s one smart dog who picked the Frisbee up with his paws. But let’s not go there.)
“She kicked the can with her foot” is another obvious statement. I’ve kicked a thing or two in my day, and I gotta say I always used my foot. Even if I were to say I kicked it with my shoe you’d have to figure on my foot being in that shoe. Wouldn’t you? If anyone out there has kicked at something and their foot wasn’t in someway involved, I’d be interested in hearing about it.
On another note we’d never, ever say, “He ate an apple with his mouth,” or ”She listened to the music with her ears.” Please tell me you’ve never written, said, or was even tempted to say, “He ate an apple with his mouth.”
Still, I’ve got to admit it intrigues me to think that we accept some obvious statements without giving them a second thought while others sound so totally ridiculous to our ears that we wouldn’t consider uttering them even once.
Now I must go announce to the first person I see that it’s raining outside just to see what their reaction will be. Wish me luck!
Me: “ It’s raining outside.”
First person I encountered: “Yes it is.”
My point exactly!!